Aztec Empire

The Mexica migrated to the Valley of Mexico in the middle of the 13th century. As late arrivals to the area, they were forced to establish their homes on two islands on the western shore of Lake Texcoco. In 1325, they founded the city of Tenochtitlan on one of these lake islands. The Mexica, who later became known as the Aztecs, quickly established military supremacy in the region. Soon, the Mexica (Aztecs) ruled an area extending from central Mexico to the Guatemalan border.

The Aztec civilization was agriculturally based. Religion played an essential role in every aspect of their lives. Aztec cities were dominated by stone pyramids topped with temples. At these temples, humans were sacrificed to the gods. Warfare not only increased the Aztec empire's wealth but also provided a steady source of captives for sacrifice.

The leader of the Aztecs was considered god-like and served as both the military leader and the high priest. This leader was supported by a large number of nobles, which included priests, warriors, and administrators.

Tenochtitlan was the center of the Aztec world. It is estimated that at its height, the city had a population of 200,000, making it one of the largest cities in the ancient world. The Spanish conquerors described Tenochtitlan as the "Venice of the New World" due to its many canals. The city was surrounded by water and could be accessed only by three causeways that could be raised.

Agriculture dominated the Aztec economy. They developed an advanced agricultural system that utilized irrigation and fertilizers. The main crop grown by the Aztecs was corn, but they also cultivated beans, squash, peppers, avocados, and tomatoes. The Aztecs produced pottery, tools, jewelry, and cloth. These items, as well as jewelry and other luxury goods, were widely traded throughout the region.